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Byron RoudabushInvitation to a Nation (1946)

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Produced and Directed: Byron Roudabush. Photography: John Bessor; Editor: George Merriken; Script: Oeveste Granducci; Voice of George Washington: Raine Bennett


This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Director: Byron Roudabush
Producer: Byron Roudabush
Production Company: Byron, Inc.
Sponsor: Greater National Capital Committee of the Wasington Board of Trade
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Keywords: need keyword

Creative Commons license: Public Domain


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Average Rating: 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: Laura Granducci-Temple - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - August 13, 2008
Subject: Washington, D.C. in 1946
Written & produced only a year after the end of the Second World War, the film begins with a little about George Washington himself, at his home. From there it moves further and further out, and on to his namesake city of Washington, D.C.
The premise of this info-film is "wouldn't George be proud" of what the city had become in a mere 150 years.

The writer, Oeveste Granducci (his name was misspelled in the opening credits of the film), is a D.C. native, and had been raising his family there for some 20 years when he wrote this. The film reflects this familiarity with and appreciation for their - his and George's - fair city. Full of cinematographic views of city buildings, monuments and city highlights, it provides a comprehensive view of Washington, D.C. in 1946. Narrator Raine Bennett has that voice quality and cadence that is so familiar of the mid-20th century.

The following script selection is my favorite part of the film, because it sounds so much like the writer himself (my grandfather), and I believe indicative of where he would have experienced a psychological connection between himself and Washington...

"Magnificent views, in the City of my Dreams, are often dominated by the most famous monument to my memory [scenes of the Washington Monument]... But the best known vista is up Pennsylvania Avenue, to the the capitol of the United States. The capitol building, whose cornerstone I laid in 1793, is the embodiment of the spirit of our nation where you, as a citizen, through your chosen representatives, govern yourself and help plan the destiny of our nation. Here you are welcome to visit your congressman in person."

Oh yes indeed, I remember as a child going to "visit my congressman" in D.C.!

Reviewer: Christine Hennig - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - April 25, 2005
Subject: Sorry, George, I've Made Other Plans
This 40s travelogue about Washington, DC, narrated by ol George himself (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), is pretty standard, with no real surprises. It does provide lots of color footage of Washington in 1946, which gives it some historical value. But mostly, this is ordinary.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: **.

Reviewer: Spuzz - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - November 8, 2003
Subject: George Washington: Shopaholic
A good overview of Washington DC, narrated by the person who founded it, George Washington! (riiiight). We see a very nice overview of Washington landmarks, The washington Monument, White House "and other government offices" and also George takes time out to tell us about the many shopping oppurtunities that the city has to offer. Now, I NEVER knew that George Washington would care so much about our shopping habits!

Reviewer: K.P. Lee - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - August 23, 2003
Subject: Visit D.C.!
A travelogue of Mount Vernon, Arlington, and Washington D.C., produced by the Greater National Capital Committee of the Wasington Board of Trade produced in 1946. The gimmick here: the film is narrated by the ghost of George Washington.

Oddly enough, when "George Washington" talks about Mount Vernon and recalls his his life there, he skips over mentioning the slaves. The descendents of the slaves are nearly completely absent from the city of his namesakes.